Have a plan before kickoff

  • Published
  • By Mark Schaffer
  • 82nd Training Wing Safety Office
Super Bowl Sunday is one of America's biggest and most entertaining national sporting events as friends and families gather to socialize and watch the big game. Yet, it is also one of the Nation's most dangerous days on the roadways due to impaired driving.

In 2007, fatalities in crashes involving alcohol accounted for 32 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities. On Super Bowl Sunday, 48 percent of the fatalities occurred in crashes where a driver or motorcycle rider had a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 or higher.

That's why Sheppard is joining forces with the National Football League, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other state and local highway safety and law enforcement officials to remind everyone to act responsibly by designating a sober driver if they plan to celebrate with alcohol on Super Bowl Sunday.

Remember real Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk. Please call the right play for the big game and pass your keys to your wingman before the Super Bowl party begins. Getting caught driving while impaired will earn you a costly penalty from local law enforcement and will result in a turnover of your driving privileges.

Impaired-driving crashes--and fatalities--can be prevented. Designating a sober driver should be on the top of everyone's Super Bowl party list. But there are other ways you can help save lives, too.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:

· Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served alcohol to ends up in a crash.
· Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride sharing with other sober drivers.
· Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
· Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
· Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.

If you are attending a Super Bowl party or watching at a sports bar or restaurant:

· Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself--eat enough food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
· Designate your wingman or sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys.
· If you don't have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to come get you; or stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
· Use your local Airmen Against Drunk Drivers (676-2233).
· Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired.
· Always buckle up--it's still your best defense against other impaired drivers.

Impaired driving is no accident nor is it a victimless crime. In 2007, nearly 13,000 people died in highway crashes involving an impaired driver or motorcycle rider with an illegal BAC level of .08 or higher.

Driving impaired or riding with someone who is impaired is simply not worth the risk because the consequences are serious and real. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for impaired driving can be significant.

Please act responsibly. Pass your keys to a sober driver before the big game begins. And remember, real Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk.

For more information, please visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org